Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish, and he had a son whose name was Saul. And the asses of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost. And Kish said to Saul his son, “Take now one of the servants with you, and arise, go seek the asses.” And he passed through Mount Ephraim, and passed through the land of Shalisha, but they found them not. And [Saul’s servant[ said to him, “Behold now, in the city there is a man of God, and he is an honorable man; all that he says surely comes to pass. Let us now go there. It may be that he can show us our way that we should go.”
Excerpts from 1Samuel 9:1-4, 6
There is a reason Saul and his friend went to Samuel to find the answer to their question. One obvious reason that those two young men went to Samuel for the answer is because of Samuel’s great reputation as a prophet. They didn’t visit the village blacksmith or the local midwife because they didn’t need their services. They needed a prophet. But there is a more fundamental reason than that. It was not because Saul knew Samuel had the answer; rather, it was because Saul really wanted the answer. Those who are sincerely looking for the right answer are always drawn toward the place where the answer really is.
Jesus said that EVERY person whose heart God touched and, so, really wanted eternal life came to him. Every one. Those who are truly hungering and thirsting for God’s righteousness do not go to the Koran because it does not lead people to it. They do not seek to be like Buddha because something in their hearts tells them that to be like JESUS is the answer. They do not feel drawn to a study of philosophy because philosophy is vain. They go to Jesus.
But the same is true of matters other than eternal life. It is true of earthly life, as well. I have seen many people over the years go to the wrong person for counsel, and the reason they went to the wrong person is because they did not really want to hear the truth about their problem. It happens all the time. They may make a show of sincerity by asking for advice, but instead of seeking God’s answer, they are, in fact, running from it. I have seen parents with unruly children, husbands with unfaithful wives (and vice versa), and others with personal problems, visit someone with no anointing from God, for the very purpose of not receiving godly counsel, and yet, at the same time, they congratulate themselves for having done the wise thing in asking for advice. But, you tell me. What’s the point in asking directions from a blind man?
Many years ago, as a young man in Christ, I received an unexpected phone call from a brother who wanted advice, he said, on the purchase of a car. The truth was that he did not want God’s answer; he had already made up his mind to buy the car. He was looking for approval, not advice. In fact, that’s why he called me instead of someone older and wiser in the Lord than both of us. Those elders were available. Why didn’t he call them? You tell me.
This self-willed brother did not realize that Jesus had me under his wing and was teaching me his ways. So, when I gave him the same answer that our elders in the faith (or even sinners with common sense) would have given him, he exploded and yelled at me, “It’s my money, and its my life!”, as if I were trying to impose my will on him. I was stunned. He had called me! I didn’t even know that he had been looking for a car. But that’s how it often is with people who are given God’s answer when they’re trying to avoid it. He despised my fellowship with the wisdom of our elders, and in years to come, he would despise me openly for telling him the truth, just as he despised them then, in his young heart.
Until that phone call, long ago now, I had never experienced someone asking for advice but not really wanting any. It was a very bad feeling. Since then, however, I have learned that it is a fairly common occurrence. Be wise, my friends. Do not fall for the flattery of being asked for advice. Always ask yourself, “Why is this person coming to me? Do I have this person’s answer from God?” Those who come to you looking for counsel, but who are in fact running from the truth, may hate you if you surprise them with the answer they are trying to avoid. They may become bitter with disappointment when they learn that you are not quite as foolish and blind as they thought you were.
Do you really want God’s answer? Saul did, and he found it. And he found it because his sincere desire for the right answer led him to the person who had it. And if you sincerely want to know the truth, God will lead you, too, to one of His servants who has it, just as He did young Saul.